05 Jan Social Media and Digital Marketing – What Ke is envisioning for 2016
Social Media and Digital Marketing – What Ke is envisioning for 2016
At KreativElement we try to stay on the leading edge of social media and digital marketing/advertising, which may sound easy, but there are very few things that change and evolve as fast and as often as our industry.
Remember MySpace? I’m not talking about as it is today, I’m talking about the Facebook before Facebook that launched in August of 2003, 13 years ago. From 2005 to 2008 it was the largest social media platform in the WORLD. In June of 2006 it surpassed Google.com as the most visited site in the United States. In April of 2008 Facebook overtook MySpace as the number one unique visited site in the world and number one in the US only a year later, and it generated $800 Million dollars in 2008. Today, according to Wikipedia, MySpace is the 982nd website by worldwide visitors. If Q2 financials for Facebook were annualized it could top $16 Billion in revenue for 2015. That is a 1900% increase in revenue over MySpace in 2008.
So what do all of these numbers mean?? Well the biggest thing to think about and let sink in for a moment, is that 2016 will be the year that digital marketing will pass TV advertising/marketing spend. This trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This year, digital marketing will have a 22% market share, grow to 30% by 2020, and 35% by 2040, according to Deadline. For you, this means if you have not started building your online presence or you have only been playing around with it, this is the year to get serious. We have outlined our top 9 thoughts on what is happening or what we think will be happening in 2016.
#1 – There is a reason why Facebook launched their messenger app, it is because people are growing towards more private social interactions. Snapchat, WhatsApp, Line, private groups, secure/private Instagram and Twitter feeds. Customer service is shifting to messaging and private groups, and Facebook is even tracking the average response time for businesses interacting with their customers via their messaging app. Being tied to your social media and being able to quickly reply to these messages is going to first set you apart from your competition, and then soon will be a requirement just to keep up.
#2 – It is no secret that when a business posts something, fewer people are seeing it. In 2016, you will need to expect to pay more for traffic. Internally at Ke, we usually build in a budget for boosted posts, targeted ads or other ways to increase the reach of the content created; this is going to expand and reach a whole new level in 2016. With this change. Organic likes and follows are great to have, but the larger picture needs to be focused on reaching those that may never like your page or follow your instagram account – you can reach them anyway! Just like what has happened with Facebook, this year Twitter will also see a large algorithm change. A year from now, your tweets won’t appear in the streams of all of your followers, but you will be able to reach them and more… for a small price. Make sure your social strategy accounts for this, and that your strategy is aiming to hit the mark in each social network (see more in #6 below).
#3 – To win at social media in 2016 you will need to focus on others to help you “sell” for you. It’s going to become the long game, the long term customers, the employees and industry influencers that will change the taboo nature of social selling. For a long time, social media and selling were “no nos”, you didn’t want to alienate your customers by trying to sell to them all the time, and you still don’t want to, but the selling that is done will be done based on the customer’s needs. For a long time in the SEO world we have talked about not building search terms the way you want customers to search for you, but doing the research to find out exactly how they are actually searching for you. This is done using their own words. Businesses will need to tailor their language to that of their customers. It will become more about the conversation than the promoted content. Listen to what the customer wants, and give it to them.
#4 – Visuals, images, and creating an image strategy or visual content strategy will be key. Brands will need to develop a strategy that will work over all used social networks as well as with their blogs and web copy/content. Just having an image included with a blog post will no longer cut it, there needs to be a plan around it. Creating this anchor content is part of this strategy. Take video for example (yes it’s still growing and will be growing even more in 2016). You may create a long form video (anything over 2.5 minutes) and embed it into a blog post, tweet it with a graphic, share a tip from it as a graphic, or a shorter tease on Instagram… which will all lead back to your blog post on your site.
#5 – Live video, and virtual reality will become much more normal. Periscope, Facebook Live, Blab – these are all formats that some people can go live on the spot and broadcast to the world. Successful brands will use this for product Q&A’s an “ask the expert session”, or a regular show that they will do for their diehard followers. In 2015, Facebook live was reserved for the select few, but it is going to expand and become more widely usable. Check out and keep an eye on Blab.im. You will be able to create a virtual panel of experts and go live all at the same time… talk about a game changer! People want the personal feel they used to get when a person answered the phone, but they want it now and they want to see you. Providing customer service via live video is going to be a way to break away from the norm. virtual reality is nothing new, but will become much more usable as it finally reaches the public, for so long it’s been expensive to generate content, and to interact with it with equipment, but that is all changing. Here at Ke, we have invested in two different cameras that can work in a virtual reality form, including the Matterport Pro Camera and the Ricoh Theta S. These such technologies let your customers and potential customers/partners see your space from anywhere.
#6 – Likes and follows counts will matter less in 2016, but the way you communicate to the individual social networks will matter greatly! We have learned over the last few years that we have little to no control over our connections on social media. They can allow any number of our likes, followers and fans to see our posts. The social networks themselves control the flow of information and the data of your audiences. Having a strong social strategy and knowing who your audience is in each network is more important than ever. Catering your message (while keeping the same content message and anchor content) is your way to success.
#7 – Google knows where you have been, Facebook knows who you are. For the last couple of years it has been fascinating to see how targeted you can get with Facebook ads. Sitting in a meeting with a client and showing them behind the curtain, if you will, is eye opening for them. It’s scary as a consumer and great as a brand. In 2016 brands will be able to learn more about the people they are communicating with and can add keywords along with notes to tag the users they are connecting with. Remember above when I said that you will be listening to what your customers want, and will give it to them? This will make the user’s experience more personal and genuine, and in the end, will greatly increase their chance of doing business with you.
#8 – Just like live video, instant content of any kind will become more of the norm. Just like on your website, you want to keep people there as long as you can, this is what instant content does for social media. This is how Facebook has started testing what they are calling immersive ads, and utilizing things like instant articles to keep you there longer. Most likely this will also play into ecommerce in an important role, and create an instant shopping experience. Twitter has recently launched the buy now button, and Facebook started testing theirs in 2015. You will be able to buy without leaving the network you are on.
#9 – Finally, video is going to be an expectation. People feel it’s more personal and personable when they can see the people they are communicating, and potentially doing business with. They find it more genuine, even more so when others outside of the organization are touting them as well. Video is in everyone’s budgets now, it’s not the high dollar luxury of yesterday. If you want to get ahead, stay ahead or lead, video is the only way to get there.